Every Thursday is surgical abortion day in our town and every Thursday we have peaceful prayer warriors who stand in front of Planned Parenthood and pray. The location is rather busy with traffic and there is very little space between the street and the sidewalk where we are allowed to stand.
On the Abortion Frontlines
As cars arrive early in the morning, these prayerful souls have very little time in which to engage those who are coming in, scheduled to terminate, to kill their child. Many drive in without stopping and we offer our prayers for the duration. Will they get out of the car? Will they go in? If they go in, will they change their minds and choose life and love? When they come out, will they let us know if our prayers were heard? On it goes, on we pray, and on occasion, we are blessed to know a life has been saved. It has come to our attention that it’s the Uber and Lyft driver who’s been on the front line before us.
Last fall on a rather dreary, cold, and rainy day, we observed a couple of women standing outside of the Planned Parenthood entrance. My prayer partners and I know that most of the women have already gone in and we are there to help them and offer them help as they leave. We stood with our umbrellas at our post with the wind and rain continued and watched as the two women did their best to stay out of the weather. Calling them over to us, they stepped out into the rain as we apologized for not being able to come to them since we can’t step off of the sidewalk onto the property of PP. One of the women was noticeably pregnant. Five months to be exact. Imagine our delight as she told us she had been scheduled for an abortion that day but had changed her mind. What was it that gave her a change of heart? It was our hero of the day, her Uber/Lyft driver.
The Heroic Uber/Lyft Driver
This poor woman had come from nearly 2 hours away (she informed us the state picks up the tab to get her to an abortion facility) and when her driver was informed of her drop off point he used all of those two hours to convince her to keep her child and choose life. As the story went, she told him her family had tried to change her mind as well but if she was to keep her baby, she needed a sign from God. As they pulled into PP, the driver stated, “There’s your sign”, as he pointed out those who were standing in the gap, praying and holding signs. Not nasty graphic signs, but hopeful signs intended to give hope. And hope was given. She went in for her appointment but after having a sonogram, she chose to keep her baby. However, once she had changed her mind and was no longer their client, she was asked to leave. So there this mother stood, out in the cold and rain. When she came to us we offered her shelter with us, a snack, a donation to help her out, and a promise to follow up with her; making sure she knew where she could go for help in her community.
Seeing this young woman out in the cold moved us to up our game. We’re there to bring them hope and healing; to be a conduit of God’s mercy for them. Of course we pray they don’t have the abortions but if they do, they walk out broken, and PP is not there for them to pick up the pieces. These women need to know we are not the enemy they are told we are. So, with what we had just experienced, we wanted to do more for them. They are hungry, as they haven’t eaten since the night before, so we have a packaged snack for them. They are barely holding in tears, so we give them a little package of tissues. They need something to look at; to realize they have a need to mourn, so we give them a little pink and blue bracelet which my daughter makes for them. They need to be educated and to know there is help, so we give them pamphlets for healing. Putting them all together into a small gift bag, we have found people are much more willing to receive what we offer than when we just hand out pamphlets.
The experience with the woman last fall is not isolated. Just recently, a man pulled into the lot while we were praying and slowly pulled to the side door to pick someone up. It was early afternoon so we assumed the woman who got into the back seat had just had an abortion. As they pulled out, the driver rolled down his window near me. As I was offering my gift for his passenger, she had rolled down her window to speak to my prayer partner. She told her she did not have an abortion but had changed her mind. It was made clear to us that this was yet again an Uber/Lyft driver; a man who had slowed up to give us the chance to speak to her (so many who accompany abortion minded women will not slow down for us, even if the woman wants to talk to us). The woman did want assistance but didn’t live in the area. We made sure she had information to help her on her journey before she left.
We have so little time in which to engage those who are intent on having abortions. Traffic can be heavy and there are just seconds to engage them; hoping they can stop long enough for us to let them know they have alternatives; we are there to help but you drivers, you can be on the front line of our mission. You may have 15 minutes or even up to 2 hours in which to encourage these women and pray for them. You can be Christ to them with no one there to interrupt you. You can make a huge difference and be the hero of the day! We need you to be bold and to speak up and have the conversations we long to have but can’t.
As Lent approaches, so does the 40 Days for Life campaign. This is my challenge to all you who work as drivers. Pray, fast, and be prepared for whoever God puts in your backseat. Have the conversation and know God has given them to you for a reason. You may be the only voice for life and love they have ever heard and when the time comes, don’t worry about what to say. God will give you what you need in that moment. Be that conduit of mercy He so desires for them. You just may save a life. Those two drivers are heroes to us and to the babies they’ve saved. Step up. You never know if today is the day God is asking you to be a hero too.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat (Matthew 25:35).